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How Solar Cells Work: Your Orange County Solar Professionals Help Explain

It seems like there is no way that you can pull energy out of thin air.  The concept is mind-boggling to many people. But, ‘tis true… well, almost. And we would like to take a few minutes to explain to you how it, a solar cell, works.

If you’re this deep into your Orange County solar power installation research, you have at least seen a solar powered calculator at some point. (Remember those hand held little calculators?)

Now think of that on a much bigger scale.

The cells that you see in the calculators are called photovoltaic cells, they convert sunlight directly into electricity.  A panel is a group of these cells packaged into a frame which can then be grouped into larger sections that would would operate larger things, such as a building.

Photovoltaic cells are made of materials called semiconductors which absorb the light.  This knocks the electrons loose and allows them to flow freely.  Also within the cell is one or more electric field that forces the electrons to flow a certain direction.  The flow is called a current.  By placing metal contacts at the bottom and top of that cell you can draw the current to power things, such as a calculator.

The process goes much more in depth about how these cells work, the way their voltage is determined and more.  But, essentially, that is the basic concept of a solar cell.

If you would like to learn further, we would be happy to educate you on the process that we go through when doing an Orange County solar installation and how that works.  Contact us for a free estimate!